By Dominic McHugh
The fellow in the back of "I can have Danced all evening" and "Almost Like Being in Love", lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) is greatly considered as the most very important figures of the yank musical degree. In penning the lyrics to a couple of the main famous and cherished Broadway exhibits, together with Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, My reasonable Lady, and Camelot, Lerner labored and corresponded with a number of the maximum luminaries of well known leisure over a occupation which spanned 4 many years, from performers like Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews to composers like André Previn, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and particularly Frederick Loewe.
In this wealthy choice of correspondence, so much of it released for the 1st time, writer Dominic McHugh sheds new gentle on Lerner's operating relationships with those mythical figures. McHugh's wide remark finds Lerner's turbulent partnerships with Loewe and Lane, his affection for Harrison, and his reverence for Burton. specific emphasis is put on Lerner's aborted tasks with composers like Richard Rodgers and Arthur Schwartz. specifically precious is the correspondence from his ultimate years, during which he labored on a film model of The Merry Widow, a BBC television sequence approximately musicals, and a musical model of My guy Godfrey, none of which got here to fruition. the gathering ends with a poignant ultimate alternate among Lerner and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he used to be to have written The Phantom of the Opera. total, this significant and full of life publication unearths the highs and lows of the occupation of 1 of America's wittiest and so much romantic lyricists.
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Additional info for Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist's Letters
Perhaps most interesting and amusing are the enthusiastic references to actress Mary Martin and choreographer Michael Kidd. According to Lerner’s memoir, both of them reacted critically to the show’s score when he and Loewe later performed it for them, and both turned it down. 8 Pygmalion was by no means the pair’s only musical prospect at the time. Barely a month after writing to Pascal, Lerner set his sights on another high-profile property: a musical adaptation of the beloved 1942 Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman movie, Casablanca.
She was responsible for writing the book for Annie Get Your Gun (1946) and the lyrics for Sweet Charity (1966), among many others. 26 Louis Calta, “News of the Stage,” New York Times, November 12, 1953, 37. 27 Left with nothing to do, Schwartz was glad to jump ship, even if it meant the end of the relationship with Lerner and, sadly, thereby wasting the nine well-honed songs they had written for the Wagon film. These seem to have been the only products of the collaboration, and none of the other announced projects were ever written.
By treating it in a stylized modern fashion it can not only be a great treat to the eye but can give Liza the opportunity to wear magnificent clothes, all of which is very important dramatically as well as visually. In other words it can be sumptuous but, of course, in infinite taste. As far as the actual conversion into musical form is concerned, there are two basic problems that I see at this moment—both of which [are] easily overcome. The first is to get it out of the drawing room and into the open; and the second is to tighten the story.